I bought this software, I didn't RENT it!

Great way to lose a loyal user of what was once the leading Drum software. 15 years, time to leave.

Funny thing is Angus from FXpansion was always a tetchy bugger - but at least the software worked, and support was good. He sold it to a company that have absolutely no idea about customer service and loyalty.

These cowboys couldn’t organise a dog license.

If it wasn’t so much trouble I expect there’s a court case here - paid for software that shouldn’t need re-authorising every 30 f’ing days. Didn’t see that in the small print.

Hope karma gets these guys. They don’t deserve the legacy of BFD Drums…

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Apart from the 30 day log in checks is everything else working?

I agree it’s an awful system and you might be right about the legality of it if it wasn’t in the licence/terms and conditions.

If it’s working okay for you I would suggest holding on and seeing what changes are made.
So far I haven’t seen any official comment on what’s going on with the licence manager logging in and I think this, ‘30 day’ thing is just speculation but I know Drew has mentioned they want to do something of that nature and he has spoken against it.

I think there is still currently a bug with the LM trying to log in and I’m hoping that will be properly fixed in the next build.

Depending on how this pans out for them I suspect the licence for BFD4 will be some kind of subscription or something but right now it’s a mess as inbrands seem a bit shy in being open with their user base.
It’s pretty bad PR for them.


After 15 years, but only a few months in a poor transition, don’t you think the software is worth giving them a chance to sort it out? I feel confident they will, especially with BFD4 on the horizon. Drew seems like he really wants to get it right and make it happen. These drum samples deserve a chance.

a few months in poor transition?? Blimey you’re being very kind! Fortunately this is not something I use every day, but if I did I’d be livid. A week without a piece of working software as a professional is far too long. Months to sort it out its totally unacceptable.

The reply I got from support (eventually) was to “log on at the start of every day just to be sure”…now that is a joke. What if I had to do that with every plugin, VSTi etc? I’ve been using music tech software since the 80s and I have never had such a dreadful experience with a software company.

To answer Steve63 - no, it doesn’t work - at least, the last time I tried to authorise it it sent me round in circles. I eventually got it working but haven’t bothered to re-open it since. Better things to do with my time. I can happily use BFD2 and will probably get Slate - it’s a pity because when it works BFD3 is really good, especially on the transients and live ambience etc. But if I start using it and then find I cannot get back to a project because it’s locked me out - well, that’s no good.

I have zero confidence in the product. I’ll sit it out and wait until solutions are found. But I doubt very much they’ll get a penny more out of me for a version 4. I’d expect that free & gratis after all this mess.


Hello . . . . , I’m Mr Ed

I definitely think that if this goes subscription it would be a poor move. I will not carry on with BFD, and I’ll go all over social media to make sure others know to avoid. Their reputation at the moment needs building up and if they lose loyal customers who have stuck it out this far, what chance do they have of gaining new ones if all they hear are the ex-loyal customers?

If enough of us bandied together, maybe set up a Go Fund Me page, we could get some legal case against them. I would be happy to participate in this. I’m in London and would happily hand-deliver any papers to them (are they still London-based?) if that’s what it takes.

OK I’m jumping the gun here on the subscription thing, but I think BFD Drums need to understand that the majority of users are not happy about this at all. So far all we have seen is mismanagement of a once great product. If the Ts & Cs change then I think users would be entitled to some sort of partial refund at this stage, otherwise expect lots of negative reviews all over the internet. Could BFD Drums survive that? In it’s current state I think not. Get your s**t together BFD Drums before you kill a great product.

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I am a loyal user since version 1 on Mac, use it professional and didn’t experience one single day of BFD being not ready to use. If people have a professional demand, they are invited to act as a pro.
Just saying.
Btw. Software is never been owned by a user, and if the owner or distributor changes it is likely that they change some of their conditions. If this is not wanted, people are absolutely free to stay with the last version that worked for them and had the accepted license agreement.
Most problems are created from people that always want to have things first, but this is not and will never be professional as being professional means to be solution oriented like Drew and BFD support.

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Nice condescending post there Stephan_S. I’m no professional so I can take a hit on being an unofficial beta tester. However I expect a supposed piece of professional software to ‘mostly work with bugs’ - not completely bork my system. That’s professionalism. Yes, if I was doing this for money I would not have upgraded to the latest version. There again I probably would have just bought Slate by now.


With respect @Stephan_S - since you’ve never had a single problem with BFD you are entirely un-qualified to comment on the support from the new owners of BFD - which has been dreadful, as so many users here have testified. You’ve never needed it so how would you know? You completely dismiss all the stories on this forum? “solution orientated like Dew and BFD support”? That is a joke. Sure, they’re looking for a solution but make no mistake it is not customer focused. They’re calculating the least damage they can do to enforce the strongest copy protection available. If their research tells them they’ll end up with a wider user base by offering a subscription model then that’s what they’ll do. Yes, transition; they won’t mind upsetting a large but in the end un-profitable (we’ve already bought it right? No more revenue from us…) old user base.

You are very fortunate to have never experienced any problems with BFD 3 - but please accept that a lot of us (working professionals) have experienced massive problems, unable to use the software and frustrated by the lack of help and support from BFD. To repeat myself - to be told by support to “log in at the start of every working day” in order to avoid being locked out of the software is just about the most ridiculous tech support “solution” I’ve ever heard! And as I said previously, if all software companies did that we’d spend half the day logging in…


I have not said that I had no problems with BFD, I said it has never stopped working.
Reading carefully helps in many arenas.

I had quite a few issues over the years (i.e. because I use very unusual hosts) but

  1. have they all been taken care of
  2. have they never disrupt me from current work because my working image is not my experimental image.

And: I am grateful that the BFD team has saved the product until now.
They could have gone broke many years ago due to piracy and a very weird market to say the least.
Instead: They are still alive, do further developing on the product, have a running support and set up a forum for us to rant on them.
And what’s wrong in 2021 with being online with a workstation anyway?

I have not said that I had no problems with BFD, I said it has never stopped working.
Reading carefully helps in many arenas.. You don’t miss an opportunity to be patronising do you?

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I live in a remote part of France. I often have no internet access. I also often choose to stay offline when working.

More to the point, if you read the terms of their licensing on the site it categorically says:

“You do NOT need to have an internet connection on the computers on which it is installed.”

and yes, @Stephan_S is very patronising! But we could put it down to English being his second language and forgive him…

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Everyone has very different set ups and different rigs, different ways of working and different lifestyles. Your experience is your experience, others have different experiences.

Empathy helps in many arenas too.

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I spent the better part of a year trying to figure out if inmusic or rolli or whoever was ever going to put anything down in black and white (besides the non-link that went nowhere on their main page) indicating they actually owned the thing. And THEN I started counting the months of 3.4 foibles.

I suppose that if someone didn’t encounter a need for support in that time frame, they might conclude that it was reasonable.

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I came from Slate and still use it with BFD to augment, but there is no comparison really. When I came back to BFD, I said, man that’s what I’ve been missing. The BFD cymbals and ambient mics are miles better and just way more natural sounding overall. More dynamics. Slate is great for it’s ease of use and finished sound, which can be good for eDrummers. Slate still only has like 4 expansion packs as well. I’d say go for something like Superior if you want something close to BFD.


I’m not sure about this at all in the event of a hardware upgrade and BFD reinstall with no guaranteed access to the Fxpansion LM. I could be wrong, currently working on verifying a “pre InMusic” configuration.

Happy to hear your situation affords the luxury of online access for arbitrary “License Manager” hostage events. A few of use have to deal with remote location work, airplane flights and audio interface drivers/computer platforms that get interupted by internet network issues.

I would hate to see it come to this, hope the original core team prevails in their advocacy for a usable DRM implementation, would do whatever I could to support a less adversarial option. I took the time to speak with iLok and their approach should work more than well enough for me, not sure if BFD had a chance to least consider it. The underlying sentiment is real though and this is very much an opportunity for a pro-active competitive party in an overcrowded market for the usual VST sims (i.e. amps, synths, FX, etc).

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A few of use have to deal with remote location work, airplane flights and audio interface drivers/computer platforms that get interupted by internet network issues.

BFD starts and runs without internet connection.

not sure about this at all in the event of a hardware upgrade

This is exactly my point. They spent a lot of effort trying to save the product, if they had gone broke we wouldn’t be in the situation to discuss improvements at all.
See, I’m in the business for more than 30 years and have invested a lot of money on companies that just made it for a while and left without any notice, update, or even compensation at all-
that’s why I appreciate this move rather than focussing on crap.
The software runs (ok, let’s say can run) on a lot of systems and with every rant here come lots and lots of happy customers that don’t even bother to state their experience at a place like here.
Go for solutions guys, they are there. I’m happy to help with issues on Mac.

The suggestion that they’re thinking of going subscription in the near future would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic. Provide a lifetime annuity to a company that up till now has fallen short of providing even minimum levels of reliability? Utter insanity. BFD has absolutely great drum sounds, but they have completely frittered away that advantage. Toontrack’s software works seamlessly and BFD’s is quirky and wonky….when it works at all.

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No it does not (once it has been arbitrarily disabled). On two separate occasions I’ve opened a project to find BFD disabled. The first time was a complete surprise in a rather intermittent wireless access location and had to bail on that part of the session. The second location had no access, period (fyi, the intent was to limit external distractions to get something finished). Had to drive out of the mountains to find a local access point to get it “reauthorized”.

I was getting on just fine with and updated in good faith as part of gearing up to start working again. I’m no stranger to working around issues but more than a bit unhappy to find my workflow/time/investment in the same shape as if the company had gone out of business. Maybe worse.

To be sure, the effort to keep things going is much appreciated but the current implementation of DRM greatly devalues what has otherwise been a preferred product. YMMV. I’m not a fan of iLok, but can live with it for high value applications and find it works quite well for a couple of other products,

Just sharing my expectations based on my investment.


Ok, that was an older LM, right?
I kept the 3.3 until now, something I do with all major tools.
“Good faith” isn’t doing it, but that’s true for a lot of products nowdays. On Apple Logic and
Harrrison Mixbus I use to have two backup versions. I hope it won’t hit you again.
Did you check with Drew? Maybe the LM gets weird if IP or country changes.